Shari Elessar, the founder, is a member of both Florida and New York bars, a former wall street commercial litigator at Cravath for four years, and former in-house counsel managing litigation at multibillion-dollar corporations such as Blyth, Inc. and Suffolk Construction, with a focus on resolution of difficult issues and litigation. Shari has extensive legal background, a proven ability to work with people of all backgrounds, and the acumen to get to the core of, and resolve, the various challenges which litigants face. She is also known for her extensive volunteering, mentoring, education and outreach.
Shari is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator in County and Circuit Civil court, and a Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator. Shari earned her legal degree from the University of Chicago law school, studied overseas for one year at Oxford University and graduated from Cornell University, summa cum laude. Her breadth of legal and business expertise includes business and technology issues, securities, consumer products, employment, real estate, and construction law.
After working on Wall Street, Shari moved to real estate and construction, including serving as regional General Counsel of Suffolk Construction, a national construction firm, and then jumped to the developer side, practicing as General Counsel, managing the assets and litigation for Palm Beach real estate mogul and developer, Robert L. Miller, whose operations included multiple properties such as Jupiter Pointe Marina, and other marinas statewide, equestrian facilities, shopping malls, and various residential and commercial properties.
As an entrepreneur, Shari then shifted from construction and real estate, into spearheading the growth of ApparelMagic, a B2B cloud software ERP, into national recognition. Shari served as a full equity partner managing the non-coding operational side, such as sales, marketing, finance, legal, PR and human resources, before selling most of her interest and shifting to alternative dispute resolution.
In addition to helping people try to resolve their differences through mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Shari enjoys lecturing at Palm Beach State college, judging/coaching with Nova law school’s moot court events, including with their most recent 2020 National Championship team, working with the federal courts in their Civil Discourse outreach program with local teens and volunteering as a guardian ad litem.
In 2019, Shari’s team received the prestigious Inns of Court local regional Cup, which she accepted on behalf of her team as the group leader, which recognized her pupillage group for its outreach, ethics and professionalism. Shari also serves on the Board of the Craig S. Barnard Inns of Court, as its Education Chair. In 2021, the National Inns of Court published its award winning CLE on Daubert and Frye, produced by Shari and her pupillage group.
Shari is also committed to educational outreach through the ADR section of the Florida Bar, most recently serving as a committee member at the Florida Bar’s Arbitration Advocacy Institute held virtually in November, 2020. Shari’s articles on mediation may be found in the Common Ground, the Alternative Dispute Resolution’s bi-annual publication for the Florida Bar. Her column, Tips from the Masters, highlights collective wisdom from the masters, as a mediator’s guide to successful mediation. Her goal as a mediator and arbitrator is to help attorneys and clients alike pursue every opportunity for positive resolution, and ensure that every voice is heard.